1-800-837-8558    Free shipping over $30

Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

smoke alarm


So, you bought and installed a smoke detector in your home. Well done! Now you can rest comfortably, knowing you'll be alerted should a fire break out in your home, right? No need to worry about it any more...


Unfortunately, that's not the case.  Smoke detectors must be maintained!


A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as no smoke alarm at all.  Smoke alarms work only when properly installed and maintained.  Depending on how your smoke alarm is powered (9-volt, 10-year lithium, or hard-wired), you’ll have to maintain it according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Smoke Alarm


General guidelines for smoke alarm maintenance:



Smoke detectors powered by a 9-volt battery:


* Test the alarm monthly


* Replace the batteries at least once per year


* The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years



Smoke detectors powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long life”) battery:


* Test the alarm monthly


* Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, the entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced according to manufacturer’s instructions


Here are some other very important tips about smoke detectors and home safety from the United States Fire Administration:


Smoke Alarm


* Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking; a smoke alarm is just doing its job when it sounds while you’re cooking or taking a shower with lots of steam. If a smoke alarm sounds under these conditions, do not remove the battery. Instead:


** Open a window or door and press the “hush” button,


** Wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or


** Move the entire alarm several feet away from the location.


* Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake.


Did you know that according to the National Fire Prevention Association, nearly two-thirds of all fire deaths in the U.S. are in homes with no working fire detector.


So, if you don’t have one or more smoke alarms, get them as soon as you can. And if you have them already, make sure you follow the instructions on testing and replacing them.


Learn More about Fire Safety.

Back to all articles